Exodus 26. 31-33.
thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet [worm scarlet],
and fine twined linen of cunning work; with cherubim shall IT be made"
signification of the vail is given us by the apostle in the following
words: "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest
by the blood of Jesus, by a new [newly-slain] and living way, which He
hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, His flesh"
(Heb. 10.19, 20). This vail represents the flesh of Jesus, and, in
connection with His atoning sacrifice, it shows Him as the way of
entrance, through the Spirit, by faith, into the holiest of all. Before
the death of Jesus, "the priests went always into the first tabernacle,
accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high
priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for
himself, and for the errors of the people: the Holy Ghost this
signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made
manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing" (Heb. 9.
6-8). But when Jesus expired on the cross at Calvary, "The vail of the
temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom" (Matt. 27. 51).
God by this act distinctly intimating that the way of access was clear
- the glory could shine out, and the believer in Jesus could enter in.
God could be just, while He justified - and manifest Himself as
glorious in holiness, whilst the pardoned sinner was accepted and
brought nigh by the blood of Jesus. The Lord Jesus told His disciples,
"If I go not away, the Comforter will not come; but if I depart, I will
send Him unto you" (John 16. 7). The way was thus opened for the
Comforter to come down from the ascended Christ, at Pentecost; and it
is through Him, upborne by His eagle wings, we enter the Holiest, and
draw near to God.
The word "new" in
Heb. 10. 20, is literally in the Greek "newly-slain," a beautiful
illustration of which we get in the north gate of the temple of Ezekiel
(ch. 40. 35-43), where there were eight stone tables on which the
victims were slain, and the instruments were laid, and the flesh hung
up on hooks on either side, so that the priests on entering passed
through the flesh of the slaughtered victim, which was also the Eastern
mode of ratifying a covenant (Gen. 15.).
THE MATERIALS OF THE VAIL.
We may trace in the materials, the various excellencies combined in the Person of Christ.
"BLUE," His perfection as Man, and the heavenly beauty of His
character, "the Son of Man which is in heaven."
"And PURPLE." The
combination of the heavenly and earthly dignities in Him who was at
once, Son of David and Son of God. "And SCARLET." He was born "King of
the Jews," and, though rejected of His own, He yet shall reign. The
Materials of the Vail. And FINE TWINED LINEN." He was "that holy thing"
born of the Virgin, and "separate from sinners" during His whole life
and conversation here.
"Of CUNNING" or
skilful "WORK." What beauteous blendings, what exquisite harmonies may
be discovered in the character of Jesus! How each grace tempers the
others, and enhances the glory of the whole.
The "CHERUBIM" on
the vail represent the various kinds of service to God, which were seen
in perfection in Jesus, who came down from heaven to do the will of the
Father, and in whom the apostle and prophet, the evangelist, the
pastor, and the teacher were combined and manifested in all their
THE PILLARS OF THE VAIL
thou shalt hang IT upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with
gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver"
This beautiful and
significant vail, representing the Incarnate Saviour, Immanuel, God
with us, was to be suspended on four pillars of shittim wood, overlaid
with gold. Can we be at a loss to ascertain the fact which answers to
this foreshadowing? Did not God employ FOUR individuals, men of like
passions with ourselves, but divinely qualified by the inspiration of
the Holy Ghost, to hold up to view the great mystery of godliness - God
manifest in the flesh? In the four inspired records of the life and
death of Jesus as given by the FOUR evangelists, the whole truth of His
Person is exhibited as the Incarnate One.
Their HOOKS were to
be of gold. The capacity to. take hold of, to select, and to arrange,
the various incidents in the life and death of the Man of sorrows, His
words and teachings, so as to bring out the truth of His Person in all
its fulness, was of God. So that those apparent discrepancies between
the narratives of the four inspired historians which so puzzle the
natural mind, and so often render futile the attempt to form a harmony
of the FOUR GOSPELS - these seeming blemishes are, in fact, the marks
and proofs of the handiwork of a Divine Editor.
Under His all-wise
guidance and control - MATTHEW selects and arranges those materials
which present the Lord Jesus especially as Son of David and of Abraham,
in connection with the kingdom, and with the promises made of God unto
the fathers. This corresponds with the SCARLET.
MAKE presents Him especially as the Son of God and Son of Man, in His untiring service.
PURPLE. LUKE shows Him as the sociable Son of Man, in connection with
mankind at large. The FINE TWINED LINEN.
JOHN testifies to Him as the Divine and heavenly stranger, in all the
perfection of His character and ways. Answering to the BLUE.
portrait - the perfection of the truth of the Person of our precious
Immanuel, is the result of the whole combined. These pillars stood on
four SOCKETS OF SILVER.
while the four inspired historians were employed and capacitated of God
to exhibit the truth of the Person of Jesus, they themselves reposed on
His redeeming work, and on His precious and atoning blood.
THE POSITION OF THE VAIL.
thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches [hooks], that thou mayest
bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail
shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy" (v. 33).
connected together the two larger curtains, composed of five smaller
ones each, thus forming one Tabernacle (ch. 26. 3-6).
The vail was to be
hung immediately beneath these taches, dividing the Tabernacle into two
parts: twenty cubits for the holy place, and ten cubits for the most
Into the first
tabernacle, or the holy place, the priests went continually,
accomplishing the service of God; setting forth the ordinary privilege
of believers in their priestly service and worship.
But into the
second, or most holy place, the high priest alone entered once every
year. For while the first tabernacle was yet standing, the Holy Ghost
signified that the way into the holiest was not made manifest.
The vail DIVIDED
UNTO ISRAEL between the holy and most holy place. But the true light
now shineth; the vail has been rent; the glory of God's grace has shone
out; and the believer has boldness to enter in through faith in the
blood of Jesus (Heb. 10. 19-23).